Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Computer Project: Thought Bubble Introduction

Well, hello! I thought I'd take a minute to show you the first computer project I'm going with my students this year. I teach K-6 computers and all the students in the school rotate to me over the course of 6 weeks. I emphasize keyboarding skills, but I love doing fun, technology based projects with my students! I always like to start the year off with a fun and easy get-to-know type project.

This year, I came up with the Thought Bubble Introduction project. It's really pretty simple! Here in my cutie son, Camden, demonstating what the finished project will look like.

Here's how we do it:

- I demonstrate how to open PowerPoint, clear the two text boxes, use the shape tool to make a thought bubble. (For this project, the bubble should only take up about 1/4 of the page.) The bubble comes up shaded in blue, so I model how to change the inside to white/clear and how to change the outside line to black. I show students how to create a new text box and how to move it to the center of their thought bubble. From there, they can change the font choice and also increase the font size. (I tell them not to go bigger than size 28.)

- Inside the thought bubble they type out their introduction. I basically want students to type 5 or more sentences. They should start with their name, give a detail about themselves, and then list 3 things they like. Of course they are free to type whatever they want here, but some students get stuck so I like to have a certain format the students can follow if needed. 

-Using photo booth, each student needs to have their picture taken. My lab does not have built in web cameras, so I use my Hue HD Doc Camera and take and print them all for them just using the school printer. You could get fancy and use a digital camera dn send them to a printshop, but I am all about quick, easy, and inexpensive. One interesting note… I have to model for my students how to smile for a camera. I noticed with my first few classes that they would just give me a little half smile. Even if I told them to smile bigger, I would get the same little closed-mouth smile. So I started modeling how not to smile (closed-mouth) and how to smile big (wide eyes, showing teeth). It made a huge difference in the quality of their smiles!

-Students take their bubbles and their pictures and cut out along the outside edge. Make sure when cutting out their pictures that they cut around their shoulders, hair, and ears! I've had kids cut of their ears or hair and it looks a little funny. Ha. Next, have them glue their cutouts to a colored piece of construction/cardstock paper. In our school we have divided into different houses (similar to how the Ron Clark Academy sorts their students into different houses) so I had my students choose their house color, but you could let them choose their favorite color, or you could assign a certain color. 

-Once all students have finished, I will hang ALL the student introduction pages in the hallway near the lunchroom. Students will love walking to lunch, seeing their own picture, and also "meeting" all the other students in the school! Our principal loves seeing student work hanging in the halls so I know she will love this project when it's all done. I also think parents will be excited to see their child's picture hanging on the walls when they come to parent teacher conferences next month.

Overall, this is super fun and really easy project for students to do! Obviously, I have to differentiate this project for different grade levels. my 1st and 2nd grade students only type their sentences and they use their scissors to cut out their words in the shape of a bubble. My 6th graders love writing about themselves so they end up with really great, detailed paragraphs instead of just 5 sentences. I always encourage creativity so sometimes my older students will play around with formatting their shapes and words. It's fun to see how this one, simple project turns out so differently.

I hope this will inspire some of you out there to do this project with your students or will spark ideas of similar projects you can do in the future. If you like this project idea, leave me comment and let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your ideas and feedback!

Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Apple Take-Over!

I shared this post on our blog 4 years ago! Can you believe that? We have been doing this a long time! HA!  I wanted to share it again because it's one of my favorite things to do in my classroom...

 I'm pretty sure most kinder, 1st grade and 2nd grade classrooms are teaching about apples right now or in the near feature. I thought I'd share my ideas with ya...and my printables! :) I love doing this apple unit in 1st grade! Thanks to my team for all the great ideas!

First, I teach my kiddos about the parts of an apple and then label them in our science journal:
I made this apple out of construction paper. 

Then we play the apple parts games!  I give each of my students one of the following cards. Then, I read a clue for one of the parts of an apple. For instance, "this part of the apple protects the inside of the apple". The students with "skin" will hold up their card.  Then, I give another clue and those students will hold up their card. :) It's a great vocabulary game that I got from my teammates.

I give this little test at the end of the week:

In the core, the students need to do a bit a lot of opinion writing.  So, this is the week I teach fact and opinion. I do it with apples, of course and I use my pocket chart.

Then, we taste apples! I send home a note a few days earlier and students bring in one apple of their choice. I cut up all the apples and we taste each kind. They decide which one they like the best and write an opinion piece {for the beginning of the year, I only have them state their opinion and one supporting sentence}.

Our graphing math activity for apples is so YUMMY! I bring in apple sauce, juice, pie, and a plain apple. We taste a small bite of each of them and vote for our favorite. Then we record:

We also talk about Johnny Appleseed!  My old teammate had the cutest Johnny Appleseed that we did {sorry, no printable for that!} and then we completed a  little vocabulary sheet:

And last but not least...here is a little card I give my kiddos at the end of the week:

Frames by Print Candee
Frames by Delicious Scraps
Clipart &/or fonts copyright and used with permission by DJ Inkers
Clipart by Scrappin Doodles

Saturday, September 5, 2015

GoNoodle's Back to School Blogger Blitz!

I'm a HUGE fan of GoNoodle. Maybe I have a slight crush on the men of Koo Koo Kangaroo. ;)
I'm not sure how I used to survive without GoNoodle.  Well... I guess I do.  At the beginning of this school year, our district accidentally blocked GoNoodle so we could not access it.  I about CRIED!  FINALLY, they unblocked it because DUH- we need it!  It's the best way I can get my students moving, stretching, and popsikoing in the comfort of our own classroom. 

What is GoNoodle, you ask? GoNoodle.com is pretty amazing!  It's a compilation of FREE brain breaks you can use in your classroom.

Tips for GoNoodling

1. Built-in GoNoodle Time
I have a built-in GoNoodle time in our classroom.  It's right after snack and before we start our writing block. GoNoodle is the perfect way to get my students moving, but my students never end the video all crazy (I know some teachers worry about it making their students go off the wall).  My kiddos know when the video is over, it's over. 

2. Getting the Wiggles Out
You can see it happening right before your eyes.  No one is listening at the carpet.  Student #1 is poking Student #2 with a wood chip they found on the floor.  Student #3 is "trying" to tie her shoes.  How in the world did Student #4 crawl under that desk without me noticing?
That's your cue to STOP and do a GoNoodle Brain Break. The best part is, there are quick videos or a little bit longer ones.  There's a brain break for every occasion. I promise, when your students go back to the carpet to listen to you, they will be ready to learn! All wiggles GONE.

3. Get Your Swag On
I can't wait to get some GoNoodle pencils to give out to students in our prize box!   They love all the GoNoodle Swag... especially when it has their favorite Champ on it (Oogles Fitzlemon) and GoNoodle has everything you need to stuff your prize box with! You can save 15% off NOW through September 11th just for our viewers! Enter code:  BTSwithGoNoodle
I've been eyeing this shirt and I pulled the trigger JUST NOW!  What a great deal:

4. Participate With Them
GoNoodle with your kids! They will LOVE IT and so will you. Most of you know that I'm a Jazzercise instructor (when will they have Jazzercise brain breaks?!?!?) so I love to dance with my kiddos.  I'll even do some yoga with Maximo.  I WILL NOT Kitty High-Five though.  hahahahhaaha!

I posted this video last year, but I though you might want to relive it. HAHAHA!
I had to show you how much fun their Brain Breaks are. Try not to laugh too hard!
 (P.S. I'm totally repping my What the Teacher Wants t-shirt that Natalie bought me for Christmas)...

Want to get YOUR swag on? 

  Head to our Facebook and tell us your favorite GoNoodle video (with your email) on our GoNoodle T-shirt FB post! If you haven't GoNoodled, but still want to enter the giveaway, just comment with how you will use GoNoodle in your class once you sign up!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#teacherweek15 - Classroom Tour

Primary Chalkboard

I made the Oh, Hello above my door and the arrows on the side with my Silhouette Cameo.

  This year, I was just completely inspired by the bright polka dotstriped, and chevron borders from Teacher Created Resources.  

Birthday Balloons: What the Teacher Wants
Crate labels: Chalkboard Decor Freebie
Borrow Bucket: What the Teacher Wants
Power Pellets: What the Teacher Wants
Bins: Dollar Tree
Chalkboard Banner: Target Party Section
Chalkboard Bulletin Boards: I'm Blog Hoppin'

READ sign: my Silhouette Cameo
The subway art is my FAVORITE: Hope King's Desire to Inspire pack
Frames: Ikea and Hobby Lobby
Pillow and table skirt: My mom
Rug: Zulily 

Colorful Rainbow

View from the outside looking in.

My biggest {and hardest} project was making this giant rainbow. This wall was covered with old {ugly} orange carpet and I knew that I wanted to hide it. I used about 12 yards of bright blue fabric and covered the entire wall. Then, I had to figure out a way to make a giant rainbow. My first thought was to use fabric, but I decided to go with a cheaper option and used plastic table cloths from the party store. They were easy to cut in the paper slicer so I could make sure they were cut evenly. The hardest part was hanging them. You can see that I made a little ruffle by folding the plastic under a little bit and then I stapled it down every few inches. 
Another view of the rainbow. I know it's not perfect, but I really love how bright and colorful it makes my room look!  I used white plastic table cloths for the clouds at the bottom and styrofoam poster boards for the clouds on the sides. The sun is made out of a big piece of cardboard that I painted yellow and drew a smilie face on.

A view of the front of my room. I made the pennant banner in the front of the room by cutting out colorful scrapbook pages using my Silhouette Cameo and then I strung it together using tulle. You can also see some tissue paper pom poms that my awesome sister-in-law helped me make!

Thanks for visiting us! 

Blog Hoppin

Please link up with Blog Hoppin' and show us what your classroom looks like too! Use the hashtag #teacherweek15 on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to show us your classrooms!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#teacherweek15 is HERE!

We are linking up at Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week 2015 (use hashtag #teacherweek15 on Instagram and Twitter). We would love for you to get to know us a little bit better:

1. I'm a fitness instructor.  I teach Jazzercise twice a week! It's the best 3rd job, ever (teaching 1st graders, running a blog, and teaching Jazzercise).

2. I've lost 115 pounds and I try to inspire other teachers/women to get fit and healthy on my *other* blog, For Blogness' Sake (I mostly post on Instagram @forblognesssake).

3.  I have the goofiest family ever and I love them so much! They make me laugh (with my husband at the top of that list). We are the family that can talk about anything with each other at dinner (no topic is off the table....hahaha) and we have the best of times at our family cabin. Love these peeps!

4.  In college I went on a humanitarian trip to Kenya.  I worked at a deaf school and an orphanage. It was a life-changing, humbling experience.  I miss these kids every.single.day.

5. My husband and I are both in the Greek system. My husband is a Sigma Chi (as well as my brother) and I'm an Alpha Phi (as well as my sister, sister-in-law, and Natalie).  In college I was the Chapter President and now I'm the Alumnae Chapter President here in Salt Lake City.  This organization has taught me so much and I wouldn't be where I am today without Alpha Phi.

1. I have 3 little kids who are my most prized possessions! Being a mom is my favorite thing in the whole world. These kids can sure be a handful some most days, but I would't trade being their mom for anything else.

2. Besides blogging, my favorite hobby is photography! I used to do it to earn a little extra money on the side, but I've mostly stopped and just do it as a fun little side hobby. I love making a beautiful picture and capturing the little moments of life. (The picture below is from our trip to Vegas this summer for the TPT Conference. I miss those beautiful palm trees already!)

3. I love to travel! One of my favorite trips I've ever been on was when I was a senior in high school. My high school drama group (yep, I was a drama kid…) got invited to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. We got to spend two weeks in Scotland and it was definitely a trip I will never forget!

3. Once upon a time, I was a little bit of a pageant girl and I competed at the Miss Utah pageant. I was able to earn quite a bit of scholarship money doing pageants and I'm grateful for the many great opportunities it gave me to serve in my community. I loved being an advocate for the American Heart Association and raising money for women's cardiac care and research as part of my platform. 

5. My favorite store is Hobby Lobby! This summer we put our condo on the market, and when I looked through all my pictures for the listing, I realized that almost all of my decor is from there. Sometimes when I walk through the store I look around and say, "I have that sign, I already own that piece of art, I have that hanging in my kitchen…" Haha. (Here's a little collage of what our condo looked like. This week we will finally close on our new house and we are SO EXCITED!!!)

Do you want to link up, too? Head over to Blog Hoppin'!

We'd really like to hear what you think about our fun facts. 
Please leave a comment about something you learned 
about us or something you have in common with one of us. 
We love hearing from you in our comments!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back to School with a BOOST!

If you missed out on the last back to school sale or if you are looking for more great resources for your classroom, you are in luck! TeachersPayTeachers has recently announced another site-wide sale where you can save 28% on all your TPT Purchases!

(Thanks for the cute graphic, Amy Lemons!)

Please check out Rachelle's store for some amazing center ideas, guided reading lessons, and other great K-2 products!

If you're looking for some great upper grades resources for literature circles or writing projects, Natalie's store has got you covered! 

We hope our resources can save you time, engage your students, and add some excitement into your teaching! 

Happy school year, everyone - make it the best year you've ever had!!

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